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Rad Power CEO: 'We recognize that we have made mistakes'

Published January 27, 2023

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Rad Power Bikes CEO Phil Molyneux said in an email to customers this week that the company has made mistakes and will learn from them. In the past year, the direct-to-consumer brand had three lawsuits filed against it, including one for a wrongful death of a girl riding as a passenger on one of its bikes.

"As a young company, we recognize that we have made mistakes. Now we are dedicated to learning from them," said Molyneux, who succeeded founder Mike Radenbaugh in November. "The culmination of these efforts represents the 'New Rad,' one that combines the forward-thinking innovation of our early years with the knowledge and resources to make us more customer-focused than ever before.

"This begins with a laser focus on safety and reliability. From the design phase, through component validation methods, to the ever-improving quality assurance activities within our factories, we are doubling down to ensure safer, more enjoyable rides."

Molyneux, who joined the brand almost a year ago as president, previously was president at Dyson and Sony. Radenbaugh is now chairman of the board. Molyneux also pledged to improve customer support, including providing more timely help by "revamping" the online help center.

"As we implement these remedies throughout the year, we hope that you'll notice the difference the next time you reach out to us for assistance."

The wrongful death suit was filed in Los Angeles in August by the parents of a girl who died when her friend was in control of a RadRunner model. Last month, a judge approved a $1.5 million settlement between the parents of the 12-year-old girl who died and the parents of the 11-year-old girl who was piloting the bike. Rad Power Bikes opposed the settlement and has filed a cross-complaint against the parents of the surviving rider.

The wrongful death lawsuit asks for a jury trial that will determine damages, and says Rad Power Bikes markets e-bikes to children without adequate warnings. In addition, design defects contributed to the accident and the death, according to the suit. Court documents show that Rad Power is demanding to inspect the bike before a trial.

In October, State Farm Fire & Casualty and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company jointly sued on behalf of an insured client for property damage after a Rad Power e-bike caught fire. Rad Power Bikes has denied that one of its e-bikes started the fire.

In April, a Utah woman sued Rad Power Bikes because she said her bike arrived with a loose stem that caused a crash that injured her hands and wrist. That case was dismissed with prejudice on July 5 by U.S. District Court Judge Jill N. Parrish.

In addition, Rad Power Bikes has faced a slowing economy that's affecting most in the industry, cutting ties with 163 employees in two separate layoffs last year.

In October 2021, Rad Power announced that its latest $154 million financing round brought in a total of $329 million in investments since its inception in 2006. The company claimed then it was the world's best-funded e-bike brand, at least in the direct-to-consumer market.

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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